Art Business Conference 2019: What We Learned

The latest Art Business Conference took place this week in London. As usual, attendees were quick to share highlights of the day on social media. Whether you missed out or want to relive the event, here are some of the things we learned:

Online sales and fine art can be a match made in heaven

A panel between David Cleaton-Roberts (Cristea Roberts Gallery), Caroline Fischer (Artsy), Joe Elliott (Artlogic), Mila Askarova (Gazelli Art House) Saskia Clifford-Mobley (Artsy) and Melanie Gerlis (Financial Times), demonstrated how the digital sphere can support and not just replace traditional methods.

‘Viewing Rooms facilitate legitimate sales enquires online, regardless of how payment is taken’ Joe Elliott @artlogicmedia

“Be responsive and engaged, transparent. Responding in 24 hours has a much higher success rate than replying a week later. Businesses that publish prices see up to 6x more sales vs price on request” @SCliffordMobley

The single biggest barrier of buying artwork online is not seeing it physically – condition reports (such as those our app creates 😇) can make a big difference in sales

The demographics of buyers are changing

Dealers reported that 52% of new sales were to new buyers, according to Saskia Clifford-Mobley (Artsy).

Meanwhile, the buyers of antiques and art are also diversifying, and buying habits have changed.

“Over 90% of the Dorotheum’s art as well as their buyers are now international when 15 years ago they were mainly Viennese/Austrian. The catalyst was the online art market as well as the commercialization of the auction house from a state-owned institution founded in 1707 by Emperor Joseph 1st” Martina Batovick, Dorotheum Auction House

How can art businesses align better with investors?

“there aren’t enough visible returns from art businesses to encourage investment.” Bernadine Bröcker Wieder, Vastari

The art world is a notoriously unregulated market – so how can it appeal to investors?

“Your investors have 2 contrary points of view, they want to think of exit, but they want you as a founder not to be, as they want you to focus on taking over the world”

The dreaded B(rexit) word was mentioned

“Paris will profit from the [Brexit] situation, the city will become more important. But London still has critical mass and is a major player.” Thaddaeus Ropac

Anyone else really enjoying that Thaddeus Ropac is personifying the cities in Europe? I love picturing Paris ‘looking at the situation and being really excited about it’ but that ‘Berlin is feeling excited too’ Bernadine Bröcker Wieder

And this slide won the entire art business conference


What were your highlights at this year’s Art Business Conference? Do let us know in the comments!